Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Do police need to watch the video before they arrest you?

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With the increase in surveillance cameras, and other cameras, a new fact pattern is emerging — that is, the pattern where:  (i) video clearly shows that a suspect do not do a suspected crime, (ii) police are told about the video, (iii) police choose not to watch the video, (iv) instead of watching the video, police arrest the suspect, (v) after the suspect spends time in jail (sometimes a long time in jail), police finally get around to watching the video, and (vi) after police watch the video, the suspect, who never should have been arrested, is freed, charges dropped, etc.

Does this amount to a Constitutional violation?

Does the existence of the video, and police knowledge of the existence of the video, take away any “probable cause” that otherwise might have existed?

DiPAULO v. BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS FOR COUNTY OF ARAPAHOE, Dist. Court, D. Colorado (2016) suggests that police don’t have a Constitutional duty to watch videos before arresting, or even soon after an arrest.

Thankfully, other cases (don’t have any cites at hand) seem to hold police to a higher standard in circumstances that follow the above-outlined fact pattern.

Written by Burgers Allday

March 7, 2016 at 5:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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